The Freeheld actress has waded into the ongoing struggle for LGBT equality in Italy.

Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore has spoken out in support of the LGBT community in Italy, after being asked by a reporter whether it was right for same-sex couples to raise a child together.

“Having a family is a matter of human rights,” she said.

“Everyone should have the right to have a family. People taking care of each other, that’s what it means to be a family.”

The Italian Senate began debating a bill to legalise same-sex civil unions last month.

Although it faces fierce opposition in the Catholic country, it is expected to pass.

However supporters of measures for civil unions or same-sex marriage, say they fear amendments will be added to sabotage or water down the legislation.

Italy is the last Western European country which has no legal recognition for cohabiting same-sex couples.

Amid a debate around same-sex civil unions in the country, a group a senators proposed prison sentences for gay couples who use overseas surrogates.

Anti-gay rights demonstrations, including one named a “Family Day”, have taken place across the country since the debate began.

The demonstrations are reminiscent of those that took place in France in 2014, leading up to a vote which eventually legalised same-sex marriage.

The protests, sometimes violent, saw tens of thousands, both for and against the law, take to the streets.

Moore is currently starring in lesbian drama Freeheld, opposite Ellen Page.

The film is based on the true story of New Jersey police officer Laurel Hester – and Hester’s battle while terminally ill to make sure her partner Stacie Andree receives survivor pension benefits, as their relationship wasn’t recognised.